|Publisher:||Univ of Chicago Pr|
|Publish Date:||Mar 2013|
|Number of Pages:||109|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.6|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||5.75 x 9.0 x 0.75|
French novelist and critic Grenier's (The Difficulty of Being a Dog) short personal essays revisit his childhood and young-adult life in Paris while explaining his enduring connection with photography. Through charming anecdotes, Grenier blends his own history with that of photography, and explains how the medium has influenced his entire life. He begins with early photographic history and its practitioners (e.g., George Eastman, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lewis Carroll) and smoothly weaves these histories into his own memories.
However, since Grenier developed film in his family's pharmacy-cum-photo lab, his connection to photography goes well beyond mere appreciation. In the essay entitled "A Summer in the Lab", Grenier calls photography "a faithful friend". When he writes about contemporary digital technology, it's easy to read between the lines and conclude that he is nostalgic about his early physical and chemical connections to the medium. The book's title is another romantic nod to analog photography, since photographs are now stored on memory cards and computers and no longer as physical prints in boxes.
Verdict: Recommended for those who practice or appreciate photography and its history.
-Shauna Frischkorn, Millersville Univ., PA
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Throughout these personal stories, Grenier subtly weaves the story of a lifetime of practicing and thinking about photography and its heroes—Henri Cartier-Bresson, Weegee, Alfred Eisenstaedt, George Brassaï, Inge Morath, and others. Adding their own insights about photography to the narrative are a striking range of writers, thinkers, and artists, from Lewis Carroll, Albert Camus, and Arthur Schopenhauer to Susan Sontag, Edgar Degas, and Eugène Delacroix. Even cameras themselves come to life and take on personalities: an Agfa accompanies Grenier on grueling military duty in Algeria, a Voigtlander almost gets him killed by German soldiers during the liberation of Paris, and an ill-fated Olympus drowns in a boating accident.
Throughout, Grenier draws us into the private life of photographs, seeking the secrets they hold for him and for us.
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